6 Tips For Selling Your CDs at Gigs

By Dwight Brown

Selling CDs at gigs can be a cash cow.

You’ve got a wide profit margin because the cost of CD Duplication is minimal compared to the price fans will pay for them. And, selling CDs gets your music out there to fans who will recommend your music.

Tempt audiences at your performances, keep these 6 tips in mind, and you’ll sell CDs and make money:  

  1. Pricing. Charge $10 for an album and $5 for a single and most fans won’t think twice about buying one or more CDs. Selling two CDs for a bargain price is irresistible. Keep prices at $5 increments, and you won’t have to mess with small change. 
  2. Giveaways. Consider rolling the price of a CD into the admission charge. It’s like you’re giving them away, but you’re not. Or hand out a few as door prizes—and watch the rest of the audience have CD envy. 
  3. Special CDs.  Selling CDs that are live recordings, impromptu sessions or feature songs that are not on an official release makes fans feel like they’re buying something special. These “quasi-bootleg” CDs become collectors’ items. 
  4. Concession stands. Mark the title, price clearly and keep CDs at eye level. If you’re selling more than one CD, put them in groups. Concession stand helpers who are personable and/or attractive entice fans to buy more. 
  5. Easy payments:  Take cash, checks and credit cards, which are easy to process thanks to smart phone/tablet mobile apps and dongles (hardware that offers a secure connection). 
  6. Strong shows = strong sales. Connect with you your fans on stage, win them over with a memorable performance and they’ll want a CD to take home that recreates that cool experience. It’s that easy.

Selling CDs at gigs can help you finance your next recording session or tour. If CDs aren’t your thing, USB flash drives work too. You can get started with TuneCore’s CD Duplication service.

  • You guys are nuts if you think any decent band should sell a CD for $10,00. We sell them like hotcakes at our shows to fans from all over the world for $20.00, A $10.00 price says I’m not worth much and it whore’s up the market for the next band. If you want me to take the advise you publish seriously, Don’t insult me by suggesting I give my music away at bargain prices.

    • tunecore

      Hey Steve,

      That’s awesome! $20 is a price point that’ll ensure you make plenty of dough after your gigs. Our advising of a $10 price point is rooted in the idea that if you’re playing for brand new fans, a full album at $10 is a great deal and will likely entice those who just heard you play for the first time to make the purchase should the be on the fence about it, whereas a more dedicated fan is willing to pay $20.

      We love that you’re reading our blog, but it’s important to keep in mind we’re doing our best to speak to a wide range of TuneCore (and otherwise) independent artists at different levels. Our goal is to educate and empower artists of varying stages in their musical journeys 🙂

      Ultimately, aside from being happy that you’re reading, we’re happy you’re providing feedback, too! Keep rockin’, sounds like you’ve got a great thing going! Let us know if there are any new topics you’d love for us to cover.

      • Brian Benedict

        I understand where Tunecore and Steve are both coming from. Being from a Small Town I’ve been a member of small bands and friends of local musicians up to national acts. In small town USA $10 is probably good for a band playing moose lodges, Eagles and the rest of the critter circuit. I know plenty of entertainers happy to perform every weekend busting out whatever gig they can to make ends meet. I also understand the time, energy and money that’s spent on making a CD. The bottom line is you have to know yourself, your crowd, the venue and location to determine your price.

        I really enjoy Tunecore and all they do. Thanks for your diverse topics and support.


        • tunecore

          Awesome points all around, Brian! It’s certainly important to have a good feel for your audience when establishing price points.

          Thanks for the feedback and support, we’re happy to have you as a member of the TuneCore community!

  • Sandra Parker

    Great post. Thanks for sharing this with us. Try this for more tips on touring, performance, and what to do as a musician to get great gigs with great crowds! Check out http://blog.suchcrowd.co.nz/2016/08/22/4221/ for help with touring and gigging.

  • Eric Vera

    Interesting article. I was thinking about selling my CD’s at $10.00, glad to know I wasn’t wrong about the price.
    I have some doubts about touring, hope somebody can help me out, How can I land a gig on any bar/ venue? I mean, I tried asking the venue directly, via email, Facebook, and with some of them it’s been months and I’m still waiting to hear from them. What should I do? What’s the process? Go to the place, talk to them and done? I want to tour in my hometown, there are like over 40 places to play, but, I don’t know what’s the right way to talk to them and land a gig, I don’t mind sharing the stage with other bands, I just want to play live, Some of my doubt’s are, do they charge me to play? I know some of them charge 10 to 20 bucks to use amplifiers, and I also know there are “people” who ask you to sell 100 tickets so you can play at certain events/ venues, and if you don’t sell all of them, you gotta give them your instrument. Is that even legal? Can I get paid for playing at a bar/ venue? Am I missing something? Please, let me know. Anyway, I hope you can help me out with my questions, Thanks for Reading.

  • Yinka Akanbi

    I agree with you that selling of CD helps to stay connected with your fans but ion my part of the world, CD is the fastest way to get into the hands of pirates. Is it worth it at the end of the day? I love Tunecore

  • Fadi Natour

    For my case, that I do not concert, I also need that Tunecore ensured the distribution of cd’s!

  • musikfanat22

    I come off of the stage and walk up to people and sell them direct. I sell my albums for $5. I sell more for $5 than for $10 and many people buy more than one. The personal touch will sell more than just letting them sit on a table…